What’s new in West Hartford?

My computer troubles were not, in fact, in the past. But perhaps they are now resolved. So while I go around deleting crud comments that got posted while I was fixing computers, let’s catch up on the news right here.

What’s going on in town?



Filed under West Hartford

29 responses to “What’s new in West Hartford?

  1. Hey Now

    With all the road construction going on in town it is almost impossible to drive anywhere. It makes me wonder if this is any indication of how traffic will be once Blue Back Square becomes fully operational–basically gridlock.

  2. EJ

    Bouleverd should be loads of fun once they finish narrowing it. Nice to see they removed the bike/parking lanes. Will the body count start soon?

    I’m still grateful to Feldman for the islands in the middle of Farmington ave, we’ve had more accidents in front of our house in the last 3 years, 5 in the last 4 months alone, than in the previous 20 years. Thank you for the traffic calming!

  3. EJ

    Sorry that should have read 8 months not 4 months

  4. Looks like Joe Visconti is headed to the Republican Primary. Joe managed to get well above the needed number of signatures to get on the ballot.

    Congrats to Joe. We could use a little leadership and loyalty on the GOP side for a change. So he’s outside of the establishment candidates – good for him. If he gets elected, at least it will be “all Joe” and he won’t be anyone’s mouthpiece on our side (or as history has shown – on the other).

    The King wishes Joe all the best. Give Joe credit folks – he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is and step up and run. So the rest of us, who have been critical of our local officials, one way or the other, can at least give Joe credit for trying to move from “activist blogger” to elected official. Doing is certainly better than “writing” about it.

    Hey Joe. One campaign request…. after you make the big time, don’t slink away from the forum. Join folks like Harry Captain, who are willing to stay in touch with the folks on the ground at WHBlog.

  5. Joe Visconti


    I’m knee deep in this blog so non ja worry. Check out the Advocate this week for some “Joeslaw” Activist-Candidate coverage. By the way, I am not a Republican Party Endorsed Candidate, but a Republican Voter Endorsed Candidate. At the Convention 31 of the 50 delegates had me on their ballot, on the Street 424 Registered West Hartford Republican Voters put me on the ballot. I love the Street man, that’s where’ I’m King!

  6. EJ

    One problem Joe, there are only 128 Registered Republicans in this town.

  7. Chuck Coursey

    I wanted to clear up some misunderstanding from an earlier post that indicated the Town is eliminating bike lanes on Boulevard.

    We are in the process of rebuilding Boulevard from Main to Wardwell in a manner identical to that which we have already done from Wardwell to Ridgewood. We do not have bike lanes as such on Boulevard, but there is a lane created from the narrowing of the roadway. The reconstruction creates a better designated and safety area for biking. At the intersections bump outs occur as a traffic-calming device and to improve pedestrian crossings. Even with the bump outs there is a clearly designated area for bikes to pass.

    We had a great deal of interest from residents who wanted to serve on the task force to promote increased and safe cycling in town and will have an update in the next few days.

  8. EJ

    Looking at how it is developing it doesn’t look safe for cycles at all.

    The way traffic still zips along Farmington, it sure looks like those corner bump outs will be better for creating comas. Can’t be calmer than that.

    Chuck, the changes on Farmington were supposed to be for traffic calming. After the last accident the firemen had a good laugh with the term. Of course traffic does calm/slow down when an accident blocks traffic. Have you guys on the council looked into the increase in accidents since the islands went in?

  9. Chuck Coursey


    Good points.

    In a town of cut thru streets, we’re trying to slow traffic in every neighborhood.

    On my street, cars sometime hit 50+ mph.

    I know how you feel.

    Let me take your issue to issue to the traffic engineer and I will get back to you, ok?

  10. EJ

    Works for me.

    But, I would suggest that you not only talk to the engineer, but talk to the police and fire dept. Unfortunately, I think the engineer is only going to give the traffic calming answer. The police and fire depts will give you the actual results of the engineers decisions.

    I agree there was alot of speeding on Farmington Ave. and other streets in town. Unfortunately, there is still too much speeding on Farmington Ave, and now with the islands a margin of safety has been removed.

    I’ve seen trucks and buses that can’t negotiate turns around the islands. I saw some poor kid lose his front wheel last February when he couldn’t see the island hidden by the snow.

    Now on Boulevard, bikes are going to have to merge into a narrowed traffic pattern at the corners. Will these corners even be visible to cars in a snow storm?

  11. Hey Now


    As you know the snow plows just make a narrow path and usually don’t plow out the indentations infront of the narrowed traffic patterns at the corners. I suspect that at some point an overtired plow driver will just mow the corners down and the town will be responsible for repair (the town occasionaly uses contract snow plow services–as I have seen them go past and bury my driveway in 3-4 feet of snow).

    The real issue is that there are a lack of traffic lights to really slow traffic down. The idea that W. Hartford is a sleepy little town is outdated–lets face it folks W. Hartford is a CITY.

    To expect people to drive the speed limit on Boulvard from Main street to Ridgewood (with no stops) or from Mountain Rd. to Walden Street on Farmington Ave is ridiculous. The same is also true on Sedgwick-you can drive from Main Street to Ridgwood without a stop.

    I know, I’ve heard all the excuses–the state won’t let us put a traffic light, the neighbors will complain, it’s too noisy when the cars start up from a red light, my dog will wet himself when the lights flash–if the town is really serious about traffic it will find a way to install traffic lights.

    Just wait until the “out of towners” go speeding down Farmington Ave. or Boulvard to get their lattes in Black and Blue Square. After a few accidents and pedestrian injuries maybe we will see some action.

  12. Whdad, anyone?

    What’s the deal on the story about the guy suing West Hartford. Anything new on this?

  13. Chuck Coursey

    I wanted to follow-up some of the earlier questions about the bumpouts.

    Where we have installed bumpouts we do look at the traffic history and in each case the accident history has gone down. Recently we looked at Boulevard which has had bumpouts for a year and the traffic accidents were down. The bumpouts also prevent vehicles from parking too close to intersections (improving sight distance), shorten the distance for pedestrians to cross the street, and give more area for pedestrians to use.

    I’m checking with public works to see if there has been any problems with snow plowing.

  14. EJ

    Are you trying to say the accident rate on Farmington between Mountain & Main has gone down?
    Not possible!

  15. EJ

    Are you trying to say the accident rate on Farmington has gone down?
    Not possible!

  16. Chuck Coursey

    That’s what I have been told.

    I will get back with the numbers.

  17. EJ

    since the islands were put on Farmington, just this year we’ve had 4-5 accidents near our home, before the islands I can only recall 1 in the previous 20 years

  18. TBD

    Last I checked, the purpose of traffic signals isn’t to slow traffic. That’s the job of the police department. More signals won’t accomplish anything other than causing a five minute drive to take ten minutes, further frustrating drivers. Driving across town is already bad enough. I agree that the traffic calming features implemented at many town intersections seem to have made negotiation of turns difficult for even a compact car. I also agree that many drivers are moving way too fast down our town streets. Part of the problem may be that roadway widths, like that of Sedgewick, are extremely wide causing drivers to feel as though they aren’t moving as quickly as they actually are. I think a solution lies in better enforcement of established speed limits along with possible engineering improvements or modifications besides just relying on established calming techniques that maybe aren’t right for every situation. That’s the whole idea of engineering.

    I’m just glad to see a fourth signal was finally added in front of the right lane going up Park Road from the I-84 exit ramps. I was getting tired of waiting for people in front of me to notice the one green next to the two red lights so we could move straight through the intersection. It seems like everything stemming from the Blue Back improvements is completely over engineered. And like maybe some of the simple stuff was overlooked. I hope I can still drive through there once Blue Back is open for business.

    My 2 cents…

  19. Elmwoodian

    EJ–Be careful what you wish for with the traffic lights, especially if one is right in front of your house. You’d be surprised the amount of noise pollution they create for the surrounding houses. Cars decelerating and accelerating make a lot more noise than one would think, especially if people are really gunning it off the light or if they have squeaky brakes (my kingdom for an elephant gun!). Granted, accidents v. noise is somewhat of a Catch 22 (or a Morton’s fork?). But if I had to choose, I’d take 4-5 accidents/year v. the constant din of squeaky brakes and roaring engines.

    There’s my 2.

  20. You guys have a one track mind.

  21. EJ

    I think it was someone else who mentioned lights.
    I’d love to see the islands bulldozed and paved over.
    A bit of speed enforcement would be nice as well, although most of the accidents I believe were non-speed related. More a problem with manuverability and visibility.

  22. Joe Visconti

    Maybe “Easy Buttons” could help with traffic?

  23. Mabelline

    Anyone else read the incredibly stupid column by Amy V. Talit in the WH News this week? Is this really the best they can do?

  24. Janet

    Looking for Amy Talit…if anyone knows her new phone number or her whereabouts (know she found a guy and is in chicopee MA), please contact me at im1daful13@sbcglobal.net…she and I have a debt to settle. Thanks

  25. Janet Olmstead

    Waiting to hear from Patrick!!

  26. Karma

    Janet & Patrick ……. try going to http://www.anywho.com

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